Food for Thought in Brockley

Scholars, of course, won’t have it so. Policies they say, and the subtly laid schemes of statesmen, are what influences the destinies of nations; the opinions of intellectuals, the writings of philosophers, settle the fate of mankind. Well, they may do their share, but in my experience the course of history is as often settled by someone having a belly-ache, or not sleeping well, or a sailor getting drunk, or some aristocratic harlot waggling her backside.
- Flashman, Royal Flash!

I am familar with the works of Pablo Neruda.
- Bart Simpson

No doubt inspired by the calibre of debate to be found on Brockley Central, a group called Food for Thought, which organises "conversation meetings" is coming to Brockley.

The gatherings are Socratic speed-dating. Organised in bar, people are paired up and a menu of topics is given to them to guide their conversation so they don’t end up talking about the weather or the tube.

Their next meeting is scheduled to take place on August 4th or 5th in a local venue such as The Orchard or Toads Mouth, from 7pm to around 9pm. Attendance is free, but they'd like to hear from you in advance to get an idea of numbers and preferred date.

Organisers Ismenia and Paula explain:

We were inspired by Theodore Zeldin's idea of conversations. He is a fantastic and very important philosopher and Oxford professor. He is the inventor of Oxford Muse where his ideas of conversation are put in practice.

He said: "Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts: they transform them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought."

We have held meetings with friends which were fine but the original idea is to hold the conversations with complete strangers so we decided to advertise these meetings and wait for the public response. We're hoping to find a group of around 16 people.

We live in Brockley and were encouraged by the variety of people we have seen and met in the area. The area is developing fast and we think there is room for something like this.

If people are interested, they can email us directly at

We will be holding the meetings throughout the year and in various locations.